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Winter weather creates problems for holiday travelers

Winter weather creates problems for holiday travelers
Posted at 7:09 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 22:31:13-05

For many of the drivers headed to their Thanksgiving destination Wednesday, it was the worst day to do so.

"I'm headed to San Jose and then I'm going to head up to Oroville," said Rachel Doering, San Jose resident.

"We're going back home to see our family in the North Bay," said Peter Metcalfe, San Luis Obispo resident.

Doering and Metcalfe both had long trips ahead of them.

They are part of the second largest Thanksgiving travel year since AAA began keeping track.

More than 55 million travelers are expected to travel more than 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Out of those, 49 million are going by car.

Experts said Wednesday trips would take up to four hours longer than usual and the weather in California has only added to the travel problems.

One concern was snow causing a closure of Interstate 5 - a move travelers through the Central Coast would see and feel.

"The major detour for folks traveling on Interstate 5 in either direction is to use Highway 101, right smack through the Central Coast," said Jim Shivers, Caltrans District 5 spokesperson.

"My first tip would be to leave yesterday," said Ryan McMahon, VP of Insurance for Cambridge Mobile Telematics.

While such advice might not be helpful for travelers on Wednesday, those hitting the road know delays lie ahead.

"I'm thinking it's going to be pretty crazy," said Doering

"The night before Thanksgiving is always tough," said Metcalfe.

It never hurts to have a back-up plan just in case the holiday travel and traffic is too much to handle.

"We're going to make it up there tonight, but if by the time we get to Monterey and San Jose, we'll end up just staying the night somewhere," said Metcalfe.

Travel experts warn that while Wednesday will be bad for delays and traffic, Sunday is expected to be worse as travelers make their way home and another round of winter weather hits much of the country.